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It is now three weeks since we moved into a Lifestyle Village and when people come over, they can’t believe that we have just moved in.

I packed all our possessions myself as I am a little OCD and didn’t want to arrive at my new home with things I do not love or use.
When moving companies pack, they pack everything, and you end up with all your clutter at your new home. I don’t say that they don’t know what they doing, they are very efficient, but leave you with boxes marked for each room and you don’t know what you’ll find in that box, which makes unpacking and zoning difficult. I left the paintings, TV, computer and large furniture items for them to pack.

Today I want to share how I orchestrated my packing for the move. I used orchestrated intentionally for you to ponder

1.   Discover what is important to you

Sit down and without rushing from room to room, start in one room. Make a list of what it is that you love and use in that room. Picture these one by one in your new space.

2.   Let go

It is easier to declutter and move with less, than moving with everything you have just to find that you do not have the space. Dispose of things that you know will not fit into your new home and keep boxes and bags for donations, give-aways and sale close at hand whilst you pack. As you pack and come across stuff that you can let go, put it into the relevant boxes or bags for disposal before the move.

3.   Book your move

Decide if you will use a moving company or if you are going to move using a suitable rental truck. If you move into a complex or an apartment establish what size of truck is allowed and whether service elevators can be used. Many complexes have set days and times during which you are allowed to move in. Remember to ask the moving company’s agent over how many days the move will take place, you may need to make alternate living arrangements during these days, consider the moving day and possibly the next…

4.   Gather your supplies

20160313_145622Buy a variety of sturdy smallish boxes that stack easily and which you can handle yourself. Go green by hiring plastic containers for the move. (Recycle all packing material after unpacking.) Use white paper (clear newsprint) instead of newspaper to pack crockery and other fragile items. Ink from the newsprint rubs off, leaving you to wash it all before it goes into the cupboards.  In a caddy keep your packaging tape, numbered labels, permanent marker and “fragile” stickers. Use bubble wrap to wrap very fragile ornamental items. Make an inventory of what goes into each box so that you know where to find what you need when you get to your destination.

5.   Packing

Pack one room at a time leaving the seasons clothing, kitchen and study for last. When packing make up a box at a time, securing the bottom with tape.  Ensure that your fragile items are wrapped in tissue paper or bubble wrap. Important to remember is that everything should sit secure in the box, if there are any gaps fill them with scrunched up newsprint, bubble wrap or small clothing items. Do not pack above the fold of the box lids, check that the bottom does not pop open and that the box does not collapse when stacked.

Number the box and label it with a colour sticker allocated to a specific room on all four sides. Fill in your inventory indicating what is in the box, which will make unpacking easier.

6.   Stack

Stack the packed boxes in an empty room or allocate an area where the things go that will move with you.

Stack the decluttered stuff in a separate room preferably the garage so that they are out of sight, for them not to lead you into temptation.

7.   Clean

As you empty a cupboard or drawer, clean it. As you take down paintings wipe the walls. As the rooms are packed up clean the rooms, so that on the day you move, you don’t have a major operation of cleaning your old home when everything is gone. A quick sweep on that day and you are done.

Have curtains laundered before the move, hang them immediately upon arrival to minimise creasing and to at least give you privacy the first night in your new home.

8.   Clothing

Pack, out of season clothing into plastic containers or boxes for storage on arrival. Remember to label these well. To avoid creasing take hanging clothes across on their hangers in your car, if you live close to your new home. Alternatively hang them in special boxes which allow hanging of clothes.

9.   Things to do and take yourself

Pack your jewellery, life file, daily medication, first aid kit and other valuables to be taken by car.

Make back-ups of your hard drives. Ensure that these are safely packed away before the moving crew arrives.

Take bedding, and toys for the kids to make everyone feel at home from the word go.

10.   Emergency Supplies

Pack a container with kettle, sugar, tea, coffee, snacks, fruit and a cooler bag with cold drinks and food to tuck into upon arrival. Remember to take toilet paper, soap and towels for each bathroom.

11.   The move

Be ready when the moving crew arrives. Give clear instructions of what you want and which items need special wrapping. Moving is a stressful business especially for young children and pets, as they become insecure because they don’t understand what is happening around them. Organise sitters or sleep overs for your children. Organise kenneling for your pets for the days of the move and fetch them or have them delivered after your move.

On delivery inform the crew which room is which, so that they can place the boxes in the correct room. I use coloured squares at the entrances to the rooms which correspond with the label on the boxes.  Have your furniture placed where you want it and if you change your mind let the crew move it before they leave.

Hang the clothes and curtains. Make the beds so that everyone has their room ready for the first night.

12.  Unpack a room at a time

Unpack the kitchen first so that a normal routine can start, followed by the bedrooms, bathrooms and then the living areas. Finishing by hanging your paintings, placing the ornaments and then all the other stuff.

13. Recycle packing materials

After everything is unpacked recycle the card board boxes, paper and the bubble wrap to free yourself of all unwanted packing materials.

After all is done and dusted you are ready to start a new chapter of your life in your new home! Introduce yourself to your neighbours and inquire where you can find the best supermarket, pharmacy, doctors, hair salons, bottle stores and butchers. By doing this you’ll settle in quickly into your new neighbourhood.

Heidi Meyer

Professional Organiser